My Sisyphean Task

My quest to get to the bottom of my To Be Read (TBR) pile of books never ends. I always manage to find ways to heighten the pile.

I had successfully not bought any books for a few months when an email entered my Inbox from Barnes and Noble. They were offering the complete set of Harry Potter books (paperback) in a boxed set for around $60. (Now it appears to be a little cheaper than that.) Since I hadn’t yet read any of them, I bought the set. This added seven books to my intimidatingly high stack.

Right now, I have just finished the third Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban. Like the first two, I enjoyed number three. Rowling has created an intriguing, attractive, and seemingly limitless world for her characters. They are a lot of fun to read. And yes, the books are better than the movies. Mostly because they can cover more ground than can be covered in a two-and-a-half hour movie. That’s not a knock on the movies, which I think are pretty good in their own right. The movies seem to rush by when I watch them. For someone who has seen the first six movies, reading the books is like being brought along the same path again but with plenty of time to cover important details, fill in a lot of the background of the characters and their roles in Rowling’s grand scheme, and go down some side paths not even mentioned in the movies. It’s a richer experience.

I will say this though: Harry Potter is far too well-adjusted for having spent 10 of his 11 years living in a cupboard under a staircase with his shit-family the Dursley’s and all the abuse he is supposed to have suffered at their hands. Also, why in the hell has no one reported the Dursley’s to Social Services or Local Authorities for the way they treat their nephew? 😉

Anyway, back to my TBR pile.

Currently, I am reading Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves. He wrote the book I, Claudius which was made into a well-regarded mini-series. (For Star Trek: Next Generation fans, a young Patrick Stewart is in it.) I haven’t seen the series or read the book. I picked up Goodbye To All That in a used bookstore. Used bookstores are like crack to me. Whenever I step inside a used bookstore, I always find a deal. Which is how I came to acquire Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet. A used bookstore had all four paperback books in a boxed set for $28 in very good condition, far less than I found online. So I went back to the store the next day and bought it.

I’m not sure when I’ll get to Durrell’s magnum opus. After the Graves, I’m going back to the Harry Potter series, with number four, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Counting the remaining four in the series plus the rest of my TBR books, that leaves me with 33…Time for another moratorium on book purchases…


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